Plus 4 or Roadster?

Plus 4 or Roadster?

Author
Discussion

sawman

4,353 posts

198 months

Monday 1st December 2014
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Th thing with the trad morgan is that it is very difficult to compare like for like with modern sports cars - I think clarkson and hammond did a short piece a few years ago, which highlighted the reality that in almost every way a trad is dynamically inferior to almost any modern car, but despite this the smiles per mile factor is a completely different story. Its an analogue experience, in stark contrast to modern digital motors. There are no clever systems to get you out of trouble if you have overcooked things, it's all down to you. I think I am probably a better driver for the experience
I no longer have a morgan, but in 4 years I covered 40k miles, In that time the only mechanical issues I had were due to its previous lack of use (it can covered 18k miles in 18 years). I was able to drive it to the limit of my ability quite safely, the experience assaults all of your senses and can be quite overpowering until you have settled in to it. I have heard that build quality can be patchy, and owners seem to take that as read for a car made by hand in an old fashioned factory by blokes wielding hammers.


NDA

18,123 posts

193 months

Monday 1st December 2014
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cardigankid said:
Interesting. My feeling is that the Plus 4 and Roadster are outstanding cars at their list price, 36k and 45k respectively, however, the addition of some basic items like a radio, tonneau, spare wheel and sports seats, takes you to 42k and 51k, at which they are competing with Boxsters and Caymans, with which the technology is not comparable, despite the undoubted craftsmanship.
I have the new Roadster and with the extras it came to about £60k. A chunk of change.

I extensively tested a Plus 4 beforehand as my garage loaned me one for a month - I'm glad I chose the Roadster. Much more planted on the road and doesn't run out of puff - it's quite a grunty engine. Anything over 120mph (on a track of course) feels completely lethal.

Comparing the Morgan with anything doesn't work. It's not like anything else. It's a brand new vintage car.... I've driven most things and have owned some interesting cars. The Morgan is the most useable on a sunny day in the country, but uncomfortable for anything over a couple of hours. It's Tudor engineering and simply not crafted in the same way a production car like BMW, Mercedes or Jaguar would be.

I'm now very tempted by the Speedster. smile

cardigankid

Original Poster:

8,550 posts

180 months

Tuesday 9th December 2014
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Thanks, useful comment. My shortlist is Morgan Roadster, Boxster GTS or F-Type V6S. I think that the Jag XKR Dynamic is a lovely car and there are some good deals about, but I can't justify another Coupe GT.

NDA

18,123 posts

193 months

Tuesday 9th December 2014
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The other cars you suggest are, in some ways, better cars than the Morgan. Better engineered, better made, more comfortable, better value.....

It's quite a leap of faith to get into a Morgan - they are idiosyncratic beyond any normal measure. But they offer something completely different to 'normal' motoring - you just need to be sure it's what you want. Very difficult to advise. But I'm glad I have one in my garage. smile

joncon

1,440 posts

191 months

Wednesday 10th December 2014
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best advice really for a prospective owner is go along to a dealer and have a test drive....
or hire one for a weekend from the factory...


jonny finance

828 posts

174 months

Wednesday 10th December 2014
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cardigankid said:
What would you guys have and why?
Hi CardiganKid I recognise your user name, you might have seen mine in the past, mostly in the 'other' usual suspect manufactures i.e Porsche/Supercars etc.

Personally have been lucky and owned most stuff but lately was finding modern cars more and more predictable, and a touch uninspiring - Always fancied a Morgan and was fully aware that a whole different mindset would be called upon regarding it as an ownership proposition.. Took the plunge and have so far not looked back. Maybe not comparable to what your considering as I went for an Aero SuperSport but this is still from the same Morgan family and is a car like no other..

A big plus for me, which steered my choice, was the relative financials.. They really are not an expensive choice in comparison to some makes when you take into account running costs and the very strong residuals - If you did not like you could sell and not lose your shirt!


Robert Elise

956 posts

113 months

Thursday 11th December 2014
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cardigankid said:
Thanks, useful comment. My shortlist is Morgan Roadster, Boxster GTS or F-Type V6S. I think that the Jag XKR Dynamic is a lovely car and there are some good deals about, but I can't justify another Coupe GT.
You haven't published a garage which would give much more of a context....
I would propose that most Morgan owners are either full-on Moggers (weird but friendly) or have it as their 3rd car, with a 'normal' sports car as their second ride. Scotland would be ideal territory for a Roadster....

mph

2,227 posts

250 months

Saturday 13th December 2014
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cardigankid said:
Interesting. My feeling is that the Plus 4 and Roadster are outstanding cars at their list price, 36k and 45k respectively, however, the addition of some basic items like a radio, tonneau, spare wheel and sports seats, takes you to 42k and 51k, at which they are competing with Boxsters and Caymans, with which the technology is not comparable, despite the undoubted craftsmanship.
Craftsmanship isn't a word I'd use in relation to Morgans.

They are very agricultural and actually quite crudely built. The fit and finish on many parts is very poor.

They can be great fun but they're certainly not for everyone and if you're used to modern sportscars make sure you can live with the compromises.








cardigankid

Original Poster:

8,550 posts

180 months

Friday 19th December 2014
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jonny finance said:
Hi CardiganKid I recognise your user name, you might have seen mine in the past, mostly in the 'other' usual suspect manufactures i.e Porsche/Supercars etc.

Personally have been lucky and owned most stuff but lately was finding modern cars more and more predictable, and a touch uninspiring - Always fancied a Morgan and was fully aware that a whole different mindset would be called upon regarding it as an ownership proposition.. Took the plunge and have so far not looked back. Maybe not comparable to what your considering as I went for an Aero SuperSport but this is still from the same Morgan family and is a car like no other..

A big plus for me, which steered my choice, was the relative financials.. They really are not an expensive choice in comparison to some makes when you take into account running costs and the very strong residuals - If you did not like you could sell and not lose your shirt!
Interesting. Where I am is that I have other cars, of varying ages, that are mostly big powerful GT's. All very different and all great fun. They all cosset you, however powerful or agile they may be, and what I don't have is a raw sports car. I sometimes wonder if a 911 GT3 is the only thing that would scratch that itch, though anything with an auto box of any type is anathema, or whether a Boxster GTS, F-Type Jag, or a Morgan would be the ticket. An AM N430 Roadster is pushing the boat out, maybe too far. I do not like motor bikes. I think that they are too easy to come off and are basically a passport to an early grave. For that reason, I don't feel comfortable in a Morgan 3 wheeler or even a Caterham. I am not a scaredycat or a wuss, I just don't regard them as cars and they don't do it for me.

In a Morgan, I love the way the seats are positioned right back over the axle, the hefty feel of it, and the stunning view over the bonnet. I like the responsiveness which results from the light weight, and the mechanical feel of everything. The fact that I am paying a lot for a fairly ordinary stock engine bought in and dropped in the car is offputting, but balanced by cheap servicing, inexpensive parts etc. I don't mind the technology being basic. What puts me off is -1- the basic stuff not working, like headlights. I think that, today, is inexcusable -2- the brake pedal position is odd. On a fairly gentle drive it sometimes took just a little too long to find it, and then a lot of force for a modest amount of stopping power. I shudder to think what might happen in an emergency -3- In any sports car, sooner or later you are going to push the limits of the handling. I know, because I have done it, that in a Boxster or an F-Type they are going to keep you on the road unless you do something spectacularly stupid. The chassis set up is always looking after you. I hear the argument that if you have a problem you have to sort it out yourself. That sounds pretty macho, but it is going to look a bit foolish in your obituary. I nearly totalled myself in an S2000 which I regard as a fking dangerous car. I don't have the talent to be able to control that kind of thing. I just don't know what the Morgan would do, and given the lack of thought that seems to have gone into some other aspects of it, I don't know if they have actually considered the handling characteristics at the limit. I would love to hear someone say something like, the engine has been placed to give a 50-50 weight distribution, or that it is nicely balanced and breaks away progressively? I don't pretend to know how they engineer that stuff, but I know how it feels at the sharp end. Do they have a chassis engineer? In this connection it worries me that no-one that I have found does a proper road test of a Morgan Plus 4 or Roadster. It is always tongue in cheek or qualified by statements like, its rubbish but you will love it. -4- I don't feel that it is terribly responsible taking ones kids out in a car where the passive safety features are pretty well nil. maybe i just don't get it, enough, anyway. Sorry to come over as negative. Maybe I will wait until the Spring and hire one for a weekend.



Edited by cardigankid on Saturday 20th December 10:43

cardigankid

Original Poster:

8,550 posts

180 months

Saturday 20th December 2014
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It could be that I'm basically just a Jag kind of man. They seem to do most things for me pretty well. Which only leaves me with the problem that the F Type is overpriced compared with the Boxster.

Edited by cardigankid on Saturday 20th December 10:49

sawman

4,353 posts

198 months

Saturday 20th December 2014
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cardigankid said:
I would love to hear someone say something like, the engine has been placed to give a 50-50 weight distribution, or that it is nicely balanced and breaks away progressively? I don't pretend to know how they engineer that stuff, but I know how it feels at the sharp end. Do they have a chassis engineer?



Edited by cardigankid on Saturday 20th December 10:43
my term of reverence is a 4/4 but the engine is set aft of the front axle and the other major mass in the car (driver/passenger) is just infront of the rear axle, there is precious little weight in the overhangs and so the design is pretty solid from a weight distribution point of view, even though it was drawn 80 years ago with a pencil. My headlights worked at all times in the 4 years I had the car.

You really do need to have a proper drive, also you could go and watch one of the speedmog sprint events to get a feel for how these things go at the limit. The owners club organise a sprint taster day, at curborough in the spring, which I did a couple of times and was very helpful in terms of getting to grips with what the car can achieve, with some guidance with drivers from the speedmog series http://www.speedmog.co.uk/

personally I would never drive a car anywhere close to the limit on the public road, but on a track I found the the morgan chassis to be very communicative and predictable, but you need to make allowances for the characteristics of the car in how you drive it. The sheer assault on all your senses when driving a morgan makes it a very physical experience, even if you are not travelling very fast - you could argue that this might help to preserve your licence. I recall driving mine home from the dealers wondering if I had done the right thing - the noise, the draft, the firmness of the brakes, the very agricultural feel, but over 40k miles I thoroughly enjoyed it. a few upgrades to the front springs and camber made all the difference to the drive. (rutherford spring set up).

I was going to point you towards Tudor motor bodies in market drayton as the last time I saw their website there was some good info about brake upgrades, but the website is obviously getting an overhaul, as its down. Also have a look at morganatica for some more background info on upgrades and mods - many morgans get modified as they go through life

mph

2,227 posts

250 months

Saturday 20th December 2014
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sawman said:
I was going to point you towards Tudor motor bodies in market drayton as the last time I saw their website there was some good info about brake upgrades, but the website is obviously getting an overhaul, as its down. Also have a look at morganatica for some more background info on upgrades and mods - many morgans get modified as they go through life
Tudor is getting out of Morgans as far as I know.


Speedraser

1,480 posts

151 months

Monday 22nd December 2014
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Trad Morgans are very well-balanced. The engine is behind the front axle, and the weight distribution is approx. 48/52 front/rear. They have always made pretty effective race cars. They handle well -- on smooth roads -- with benign characteristics and generally gentle breakaway. I autocrossed my Plus 8 many times over the years. They do get skittish on rough surfaces due to stiff suspension with little travel and a live rear axle, but they don't actually go skipping off the road. Much fun. But they are vintage cars that are still in production. An Aero series Morgan might be a better option for you.

cardigankid

Original Poster:

8,550 posts

180 months

Wednesday 24th December 2014
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Thanks - that is useful, and I think I can handle that!

I'll let you know how I get on.

Happy Christmas peeps.

kitcat7

73 posts

213 months

Sunday 28th December 2014
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A very interesting and thought provoking thread, especially as I have recently bought an ex demo 4 seater Plus 4, having come from 25 years in Caterhams and prior around 25 years in old square rigger MGs, the last TD being kept for at least 20 years, so I started with the new Three Wheeler, but found the reliability to be too problematical, so traded it in for the Plus 4.

I think it has all been said about the car, and, frankly, it is taking me a little while to get my head around the whole new vintage car experience, but I note what is being said about it being price comparable with Porsche and Jag, and I can only reiterate that the price of a car is not what you pay up front, but what you lose at sale time, and on this I would say that any Morgan has got to be stacks cheaper than a Jag or a Porsche or even and Aston. Tell me if I'm wrong?

budrover

300 posts

172 months

Friday 16th January 2015
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Definitely not the Roadster 3.7 - hanging revs on the engine makes it a terrible drive ....unless you intend to 'potter around' ....wish I bought a Baby Doll or Supersport in hindsight.

cardigankid

Original Poster:

8,550 posts

180 months

Friday 16th January 2015
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Do you mean the revs don't drop off fast enough for a quick gear change? I would find that a bit frustrating.

NDA

18,123 posts

193 months

Friday 16th January 2015
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budrover said:
Definitely not the Roadster 3.7 - hanging revs on the engine makes it a terrible drive ....unless you intend to 'potter around' ....wish I bought a Baby Doll or Supersport in hindsight.
Really? I have a 3.7 and don't have this problem.

budrover

300 posts

172 months

Saturday 17th January 2015
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Moaned about hanging revs from day one with the car (2012.model)

Morgan used the Ford ecu which was mapped for USA emissions so suffers ' rev hang' ( check out any Mustang forum)- American tuners say its a crate engine so their plug in remaps will be locked out.

I thought about px to a Brooklands version but it was reported they still had the engine problem.

Factory opinion is that it only effects some drivers due to their driving style.

Edited by budrover on Saturday 17th January 06:09

sospan

1,546 posts

190 months

Wednesday 21st January 2015
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Have you done a test drive yet?
That would give you a feel of a Morgan.
That is a must do and then add in any comments re technical things etc.
Having driven a cole of variants you can then see the difference and ask specific questions from there.